Educate Nigerians on VAT hike, Senators tell minister

 The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, was on Monday tasked by Senators  to enlighten Nigerians on the implications of the proposed  increment in the Value Added Tax ( VAT).

The executive arm of government is seeking legislative approval for its proposed Finance Bill 2019, which has passed second reading in the red chamber.

The Bill which is seeking amendments into seven Acts of the federal parliament which relates to tax, specifically proposes an increment of VAT from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, among others.

The federal lawmakers,  at a pre-public hearing briefing said Nigerians would actually want to react to the VAT hike and urged the minister to embark on public enlightenment on it.

They said Nigerians would specifically want to know the specific items exempted from the tax hike, especially food items.

The Minister told the lawmakers that the VAT increment exempted basic food items,  educational materials and medical supplies.

  “The Finance Bill seeks to align local laws with global best practice by introducing  and threshold that protects the most vulnerable from exposure to tax.

“It is also a palliative measure to cushion the impact of an increase in VAT  rates on the population”, she said.

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